TPS allows people who are living in the United States to apply for a work permit, protection from deportation, and temporary lawful status when the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that their home country is unsafe due to an armed conflict (such as the civil war in Syria), an environmental disaster (like the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal) or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. When the Secretary designates a country for TPS, individuals from that country may apply for protection, and may renew it periodically as long as the Secretary renews that country’s TPS designation.
USCIS publishes a list of current TPS countries, with information about the registration periods and required physical presence dates, here.
To apply for TPS the applicant must show:
- That she is a national of a TPS-designated country;
- That she is filing during an open initial registration period, or that she meets the requirements for a late initial filing, for example, because she had other immigration status during the initial registration period;
- That she has been continuously present in the United States since the date of most recent designation for her country and since the date specified by the Secretary for that country (usually before the most recent designation date); this is different for every country;
- That she has not been convicted of any felony, or two or more misdemeanors. This analysis is complicated; you should consult an immigration attorney before applying for TPS if you have ever been arrested or charged with a crime, regardless of how the case turned out.